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Bumper crop of oysters reported in Virginia in 2013

Virginia’s oyster harvest in 2013—504,000 bushels—was at the highest level seen since 1987, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Monday, and that’s good news for the state’s economy.

Over the past 12 years, the oyster harvest in Virginia has increased from 23,000 bushels in 2001 to an estimated 504,000 bushels last year, McAuliffe said.

The dockside value of the oyster harvest increased to $22.2 million last year, up from $16.2 million in 2012. The ripple effects of the oyster harvest have been calculated at $58.4 million in economic value, using a formula established by the late Dr. James Kirkley, a seafood industry economist at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Gloucester Point.

Preliminary harvest estimates show gains in both wild-caught oysters from public oyster rocks as well as from privately leased water bottoms, said Rachel Thomas, a spokesperson in the governor’s office.

Harvest from public oyster grounds grew from 150,534 bushels in 2...

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